Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Why Law, Why England - Part 1

Why did I choose England? Why did I choose law?

I think its best if I answer the latter first.

I had a tough time deciding between Law and Economics. I excelled in Econs during my A-Levels. I simply loved the concept of demand and supply and Macroeconomics. I enjoyed studying about fiscal policies and different economic systems in the world.

I asked my dad one day...

"Pa...if I study economics good or not?"

"Not good. What for you study economics. You are neither a business person nor a professional nor an academic. No good. Study something else. But if you really want to, then go ahead. I will support your decision."

That's the beauty of my dad. He tells you NO. You can't do this, you can't do that. But he will support you if you want to do it provided you do it wholeheartedly. I was confused.

I always had Law at the back of my head. I regarded Law as my back-up plan in the event that I don't know what else to study at tertiary level. I followed my dad and his partners to court since I was in Secondary school. I read cases and a multitude of law related publications that were lying around the office. I was interested but that interest wasn't as deep as the one I had for the business world.

My mum gets company prospectuses all the time. Each share she subcribes to, she gets a thick book. It will be lying idly on the coffee table and me, being an avid reader will pick up whatever reading material I can lay my hands on. I read them cover to cover. Interesting! So this is how the company spends their money. So this is how the company creates a positive image to the outside world.

Then came the time when I had to fill in the UCAS form. It is a form that must be filled for those who want to pursue tertiary education in the UK. KTJ, the college that I was from, geared all of us up for England. We were drilled to accept England for the next 3 years of our lives. No other country in the world was worthy of KTJ students. That was what we were lead to think and believe.

The UCAS process was torturous. I had to choose 6 universities and write a personal statement on why I want to study the subject that I applied for. Only one personal statement for all the 6 I choose. I left out Oxbridge although I was persuaded by the Sixth Form Head teacher to do apply because I had the requisite academic and non-academic ability. I forgot why I declined to but I think it was because I didn't see a need to study in a place where the name is famous and the pressure is triple that of any other.

I chose LSE, King's College, Queen Mary, Southampton, Sheffield and of course Nottingham.

The next thing I needed to do after choosing the famous 6 was to get down to writing that darn personal statement. I wanted to study economics in LSE. I wanted to read law in King's and Nottingham. The remaining 4 were just to fill in the blanks. I didn't know how to write the reasons why I am divided on studying Law here and Economics there. I didn't know how to weigh the pros and cons. I was lost.

I tossed a coin.

I had to make a decision and I had to make one fast. So I decided on law. Why?

- No job, can work for daddy
- Don't understand, can ask daddy
- Need books and materials, can get from daddy

Stupid reason.

In the end, I got offers from all 6 univerisities that I applied for.

Then I had the difficulty of choosing between LSE, Nottingham and King's.

I tossed a coin again.

I chose Nottingham because it has the 2nd largest Malaysian student community in the UK. I thought that since I will be away from home for 3 long years, it will be good to start off with people who come from the same country and same culture as I do. Besides, London was just way too expensive. Nottingham's fees was 3000pounds cheaper than London's.

And so, it was Nottingham and England here I come.

Nottingham is one place I never regretted coming to. But Law is one subject that I regretted reading.

More on the reasons later...